Columbo: Season 3, Episode 6

Mind Over Mayhem (10 Feb. 1974)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 934 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

The director of a government institute that employs various scientific geniuses commits a clever murder. But another kind of genius is on the case: Lt. Columbo.



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Title: Mind Over Mayhem (10 Feb 1974)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Marshall Cahill (as Jose Ferrer)
Dr. Howard Nicholson
Neil Cahill (as Robert Walker)
Steve Spelberg (as Lee H. Montgomery)
Margaret Nicholson
Lou Wagner ...
Arthur Batanides ...
Murph (as Art Batanides)
Darrell Zwerling ...
Motel Manager
Charles Macaulay ...
John Zaremba ...
William Bryant ...
Bert Holland ...
Ed Fury ...
Jefferson Kibbee ...


Dr. Marshall Cahill is the director of a government institute that employs various scientific geniuses, including the elderly Dr. Nicholson, who knows that Cahill's son Neil has plagiarized a dead man's theory of molecular structure. When Nicholson threatens exposure, Dr. Cahill murders him and cleverly makes the killing look like the job of a heroin junkie who needed his fix. But clever or not, another kind of genius is on the case: the rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

10 February 1974 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Columbo makes reference to his "wife and kids", intimating a larger family than perhaps previously believed. See more »


In the "home garage laboratory", there is a shelf of chemical containers marked with their respective formulas. The formulas are written incorrectly. See more »


Steve Spelberg: I might as well tell you right now, Lieutenant. I'm a boy genius!
See more »


References Forbidden Planet (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Co-incidence or inside joke
15 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I watched this Colombo movie and enjoyed it. Considering the format limitations of a television series, the story was very interesting, the acting excellent and worth repeated viewing. But my comment goes more to a couple things I noticed and I wonder if other IMDb viewers know more about it. There were a couple of characters in the story with names that must surely be an inside joke. Is the name of the lead character, Marshall Cahill, a nod to the 1973 John Wayne movie, Cahill US Marshall, and is the boy genius named Steve Spelberg a nod to Steven Spielberg who directed a 1971 Colombo TV movie? I turned to IMDb to see if this would be mentioned as trivia or in user comments. Surely this can't be just a co-incidence. Maybe others have something to add.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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